On this, my final day at Cannes I find myself reminiscing over the time I’ve had. It all feels like a wonderful dream that I don’t want to wake up from. I’ve had drinks on a yacht, crashed parties, met celebrities, seen amazing movies and walked the red carpet. And I’ve made so many great contacts in my time here. Today was a day of movie watching. I saw tons of short films and made it to the last feature film, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigsby.
I could not have hoped for a better experience here. I am now full of excellent food, Wine and wonderful memories. When I get home I will begin contacting the many people I’ve met here. I hope that every filmmaker has the opportunity make it to the Cannes Film Festival. And I hope to return again soon. — Katie
Tonight is the 20th anniversary of Pulp Fiction winning the Palm D’Or at Cannes. We celebrated with Tarantino, Thurman, Travolta and Weinstein on the beach at a special screening — so fun! Cannes does these great free beach screenings every night but the special screening of Pulp Fiction was something special. The crowd was ecstatic. People were shouting favorite lines, cheering, whooping and laughing loud together. I could just barley see Quentin Tarantino from where I sat and he seemed just as excited as ever to be showing his film to a crowd.
Lela answering hard-hitting questions from the press. Unfortunately, no one spoke the same language.
Most of the festival attendees have packed up and left so there was not a whole lot of work getting done today. Katie and I broke into the press conference area though for some great photos (see above). — Lela
View of Cannes
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Things are really starting to wind down for the Cannes Film Festival. Lela and I went to the Marche du film, but found it fairly sparse. After playing around in the press conference area, we decided to do a little sightseeing. And who should we meet at the top of the tower at a museum, but the very people we were looking for earlier: film distributors (below). We exchanged cards and even showed them our trailer on the iPad we are always carrying around. We ended the day with a beach screening of Pulp Fiction introduced by none other than Quentin Tarantino. It was a great end to a great day. — Katie
Today a young Frenchwoman (named Alice, pictured below) accidentally spilled her wine all over Lela’s dress. By way of apology, she got us two tickets to a red carpet screening premiere with celebrities in attendance. When Lela and I went on the red carpet before, it was early in the day and there were no celebrities or photographers around. This was the real deal. It was all at the last minute, and because I wasn’t expecting it, I was not properly dressed. I had to literally run to the apartment and back to get there in time. I put on my Ship to Shore dress again in record time. — Katie
Spent a great day with David and Tina in nearby Antibes while Billy Goodrum did photo shoots, dinners, press functions, etc. I finally got to wear my Ship to Shore dress for a screening. I turned many a head in it.
Dress by R. Brooke Priddy, Ship to Shore
At the end of the day Lela and I reconnected with our esteemed composer Billy Goodrum who you can see in red carpet photos standing next to Sophia Loren! I didn’t get to chat with her, but did speak with her director son who is charming and very nice even though he must have been exhausted. Billy, Lela and I went for drinks with the George Clooney of Italy, Enrico Lo Verso [see photo at top of page]. Oh la la was he handsome! And so chivalrous, too. He escorted Lela and me home after he broke up a bar fight. What a man. — Katie
From left: Enrico Lo Verso, Lela, Katie, Billy Goodrum and friend
Mountain Xpress blogger Alli Marshall is helping people follow the progress of Gorilla With a Mustache producers Katie Damien and Lela Winton as they represent our film, “Joint Effort” that won the National Film Challenge in 2013 and was screened at Cannes. For updates click the link below or here.
“Local filmmakers Katie Damien and Lela Winton are part of the Gorilla with a Mustache Films crew heading to the Cannes Film Festival (yes, the one in France) to screen their short comedy, Joint Effort.
The group will be in that glamorous locale, taking in wonderful films, eating French cheese and imbibing champagne and rubbing elbows with celebs, through Sunday, May 25. Damien and Winton will also be sending back updates — e-postcards, if you will. See info on the venue at the bottom of this post, and check back regularly for updates.” (From Alli Marshalls blog)
May 20 Our Movie on the Big Screen—at frickin Cannes!
Today we screened Joint Effort for a packed theater. People laughed and seemed to enjoy the movie. It was great to have David Ostergaard and Tina Herring join us, as well as Billy Goodrum, our composer. Billy also had another movie screening at Cannes. Lela and I went to his other screening, where Sophia Loren attended. She is amazingly beautiful at any age! A full and wonderful day. — Katie
The most exciting thing that happened today was running into Benicio Del Toro on the street! Then chasing after him and grabbing a quick selfie. He was just so cool.
Today was my first day to walk the red carpet. Lela and I had to wait in the rain on the off chance there was extra space in an afternoon screening. We were lucky enough to get into a screening of Foxcatcher. Excellent movie. I have never seen Steve Carell in that type of dark role and he was amazing. The screening was in the middle of the day so there were no stars around to join us in our walk up but still very thrilling to be walking on the red carpet for the first time. — Katie
I can’t believe it’s only been a few days — I’m starting to loose track. I’ve done so many amazing things at the Cannes Film Festival. Today, on a whim, Lela and I walked past the rows of multimillion dollar yachts looking for a man I flew in with who invited me aboard his yacht for drink. It was a very casual invitation and I wasn’t sure if we would ever actually be able to connect. Not only did he have us come aboard for drinks, but we met other amazing filmmakers, distributors and even a reporter from CNN. We had an amazing lunch followed by cheesecake and the strongest thimbleful of espresso I have ever had. We shared stories and screened a short film by one of the filmmakers. It was a phenomenal afternoon with a fabulous host! — Katie
Lela and Katie were invited onto a yacht.
Third day here at Cannes. Started out great with a red carpet screening of Tommy Lee Jones’s new movie called The Homesman, also staring Hilary Swank. It was a pretty good film over all, though not as good as True Grit, from a few years ago, which it was strikingly similar to. After a huge tank drove down the road with the entire all-star cast of The Expendables 3 sitting on top, drawing all the tourists out to the Coisette and making walking much easier, we then moved onto a great afternoon on a swanky yacht with lots of big movie professionals. Today was full of delicious food and delightful company. Even a few good films thrown and for good measure. More tomorrow! — Lela
May 17 Posts from Producers Lela Winton and Katie Damien
Hi Asheville! Having a great time here at the Cannes film Festival. Today I got my first pass to a grand theater premier: The Homesman by Tommy Lee Jones. His directorial debut! It’s screening tomorrow morning, so wish me luck.
The festival is huge and busy with people everywhere. The Mediterranean Sea is beautiful and incredibly blue. There are people from all over the world and the hotels really know how to do it up in style! Last night I went to a cocktail party at the Thailand pavilion and had some great food and conversation.
Our screening for Tuesday is filling up with 70% of the seats already accounted for. Still have seven days to go at the festival, and have seen quite a few stars and directors. Really looking forward to meeting more people. Tonight we are going to a cocktail party on a quarter billion dollar yacht. #excited! — Lela Winton
Lela and Katie on the red carpet
The big news of the day was the two parties we crashed at night. Lela and I went to a party hosted by Thailand. It was by invitation only and we were lucky enough to score two invitations standing in line! The princess of Thailand was there, there were live performances and films shown. We sipped our drinks and ate fantastic Thai food. Then it was off to the next big party of the night, hosted by Germany. We did not have invitations and were nearly stopped by security but somehow managed to finagle our way in. We hobnobbed with German filmmakers for a while, then strolled past the yachts before calling it a night. — Katie
Had an amazing night. Started off the evening meeting some great filmmakers who hooked us up with a gentleman who got us in to the Thai national films party. It was a huge deal — very exclusive. Only about 100 people got in. Her Royal Highness the princess of Thailand was there and gave a talk and then there was a live film/Thai boxing demonstration, drinks and food. It was amazing! Then we casually snuck into a beach party for the German film commission. It was a huge party and also very exclusive. After the German Party we headed out to yacht row. The yachts were bumping with parties. Someone mistook me for a star and introduced me to their group as if I was Amy Adams. Now we are back at our apartment getting ready to sleep, because I have a red carpet screening tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. for The Homesman by Tommy Lee Jones. — Lela
Today we were informed that our latest short film, Joint Effort was selected as one of the top 15 films in the National 72 Hour Film challenge. This is an international competition and we are thrilled to be chosen. Its now up for viewing on YouTube and those top films are in the running for Audience Choice Award. A “like” of Joint Effort is a vote for Joint Effort.
We are proud of this film, and it was in fact a joint effort. Collaboration is a key part of our creative and business process and it was in full effect on this project. From our Go Pro experts Justin Mitchell and Chris Neumann to Sean David Robinson and Courtney DeGennaro who worked behind the scenes to make props and go on store runs, we are blessed to work with wonderful people.
An example of this is the brainstorming session that hatched the premise of the film. After a number of ideas had been thrown around, the story that was starting to take shape centered around people playing cards and trading stories. Then came someones old idea about people who get their smartphones mixed up at a party which in turn sparked someone elses memory of the time their parents eneded up in a rental car that wasnt theirs. From there, it took on a life of its own, with everyone adding something to the mix, and in the end we had the story that would become Joint Effort. Even the name of the film itself was found during an impromtu brainstorming session between takes in an alleyway!